Amazon’s interest in smartphones is one that has been rumored about for a long time, until a few months ago when the company took the wraps off the Fire Phone. The Fire Phone is Amazon’s take on the Android smartphone, and similar to the Kindle Fire tablets, it will run a forked version of Android and came with some pretty interesting features.
However our review of the phone, along with others, wasn’t all too great. We found the OS to be a bit confusing and in general it felt too gimmicky. It seems that Amazon recognized that they didn’t exactly have a best-seller on their hands and within two months of it going for sale, its priced was slashed from $199 to $0.99 with a two-year contract with AT&T.
Amazon has since acknowledged that the phone was a flop during their earnings conference call in which Amazon stated that they would be writing down $170 million in “Fire phone inventory valuation and supplier commitment costs.” Amazon’s CFO Tom Szkutak was also quoted as saying in a separate conference call that the Fire Phone was “a good device in a very competitive market”.
So what does this mean for Amazon’s smartphone efforts? Will they call it a day or will they try again after learning from their mistakes? To be fair this is Amazon’s first smartphone attempt so hopefully they will be able to learn from their mistakes and make a better impression next year.